Bathurst 12H: Aus V8 Ute preview

New Ford FG Race Ute for Bathurst 12 Hour Enduro For the first time in the history of the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, 3 V8 Utes, two from the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series & ...

New Ford FG Race Ute for Bathurst 12 Hour Enduro

For the first time in the history of the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, 3 V8 Utes, two from the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All will join the line-up for the endurance race, 12 -14 February at Mount Panorama.

Greg Willis will enter his Grove Fruit Juice Ford BF and will be joined by Series rival, Jason Gomersall and former formula vee and saloon cars competitor, Matthew Mackelden.

2007 champion, Grant Johnson who has raced in many endurance races (Dubai 24 Hr, Sepang 12 Hr) will keep the Red and Blue rivalry alive in his Holden VE. Johnson and Willis teamed together last year however the VE Ute crashed out early.

Former V8 Ute driver and longtime Endurance partner, Allan Letcher who has become infamous for his massive roll-over crash at Bathurst in 2009 will be the second driver in the Holden line-up and fellow Western Australian Nathan Callaghan the third.

Johnson believes his team will be the ones to look out for and is happy to have some more competition in his class.

"The more the merrier I say. The more cars out there the better quality racing you get, it makes you work harder and aim for higher results.

"Last year we really only raced for 2 hours before the altercation so if we can finish I think we'll do really well. We had a test last week and the car is a lot quicker than the normal sprint Ute so we are aiming for a top 5 outright. Between the three of us we worked out we have raced 31 12 hour races, so we've got a pretty strong racing combination," said Johnson.

The interesting edition to the V8 Ute 12 HR Class is the Ford FG XR8 Ute, which will be driven by V8 Ute Series competitors Ben Dunn, Andrew Fisher and Brad Patton.

The Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour will be a development test for the Ford FG before its introduced into the Series in 2011 to replace the current BF model.

Category manager, Craig Denyer believes the 12 hour is a great testing ground.

"We have fitted the FG out with all of the V8 Ute series componentry thanks to our partners and it will be interesting to see how competitive it is against the other Utes," said Denyer.

"Bathurst is the ultimate enduro test, so this will be a great shake down prior to the FG being introduced next year."

Sieders Racing is in charge of the FG's build following the initial roll cage development and installation by Paul Ceprnich, who was largely responsible for the FG V8 Supercar platform.

"The build is going well and we've been posting the progress on our Twitter and Facebook sites, which has sparked a lot of interest," said Luke Sieders.

The V8 Utes will hit Mount Panorama, Friday, 12th February for Practice 1; the full Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour schedule is as follows.

-source: v8 utes

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Series CAMS
Drivers Grant Johnson , Greg Willis , Nathan Callaghan , Andrew Fisher , Jason Gomersall , Ben Dunn , Brad Patton